Jul 18, 2008 News
With red bands tied around their left arms, members of the media yesterday walked out of Parliament as part of the continued action against the banning of Capitol News journalist, Gordon Moseley, from Office of the President and State House.
The reporters turned up, as usual, to give coverage of the National Assembly but walked out of the House when Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh stood to present the regulations of the Excise Tax Act 2005. This occurred about five minutes after the session began.
Led by President of the Guyana Press Association, Denis Chabrol, the media workers picked up their notepads and equipment and left the National Assembly.
Yesterday’s action was supported by leader of the Alliance for Change, Raphael Trotman, who himself requested that one of the red bands be placed on his arms.
Speaking to the media workers shortly after the walkout, Chabrol said that Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has taken a number of actions against the media.
He added that the action against Gordon Moseley “is really the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
What has happened to Moseley, he added, is very symbolic and can happen to any other media operative at anytime.
“We have been deemed in the past as lazy…we have been asked to leave and prevented from covering the Army and Police conferences. Sharma has been shut down and Stabroek News advertisements have been withdrawn. Let us see today’s activities as one that is parallel with a collection of activities that would eventually bring about a resolution to this matter,” the GPA President said.
He encouraged media workers to ‘continue to struggle’ and that any discourse with the authorities must be one about improving the relations between the state and the media.
A few moments after the walkout, Parliament was adjourned.
“We are a young media corps and we all have our limitations,” Chabrol said.
On Tuesday, the GPA received commitments from Kaieteur News, Stabroek News, Guyana Times, Capitol News, Evening News, CNS TV6, GWTV News 2, HBTV Channel 9 and Prime News, among others, to engage in a range of activities designed to send a ‘very strong’ and ‘clear signal’ to the administration that it shall not allow the rights of media workers to be trampled upon.
Moseley was banned from entering the Office of the President and State House on Monday last.
He arrived at the Office of the President on Monday following an invitation for the coverage of an event but was told that a directive was dispersed preventing him from entering the premises.
Moseley has been covering presidential assignments ever since President Jagdeo was sworn into office in 1999.
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